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October 5, 2009

TED 5000 and Google PowerMeter: Who Needs Smart Meters?

Category: Companies,Household,Save Electricity,Technology – Tom Harrison – 10:43 pm

ted-5000-google-power-meterGoogle announced today that the TED 5000 (The Energy Detective) will link directly with Google PowerMeter — the TED 5000 scores big!

Update: Tuesday Sept 6th — TED Firmware page reports that Google PowerMeter software will be available this Friday afternoon.

Who cares? Well, I know that real-time energy monitoring devices make a huge difference in behavior, or at least they can.

And I know utilities are going to get to that smart grid “real soon now” (just as soon as they stop hand-typing my electricity bill). Look, there’s a reason that The Electric Company is the worst property in the game Monopoly®.

But seriously, allowing real people to get themselves hooked in to a larger network of data that Google can collect, analyze and do their usual greatness with should offer a few early-adopter types the chance to show the true power of data aggregation again, this time with electrical power.

The Google Power Meter blog says the functionality is enabled in the latest TED 5000 firmware, so I downloaded it … but I cannot see anything different. I already had the 1.0.214 gateway firmware installed, and now have Footprints 1.0.103 installed (the latest as of 11pm EDT, 10/5/09). But I see nothing. The TED 5000 site says little (although there’s now a screenshot of PowerMeter). The Google Power Meter site says little, and the newsgroup has nothing new posted.

Am I just being impatient? Yes! I want my TED 5000 household electrical use data to be on the web so everyone knows that I don’t line dry my clothes (and they know when, too.) Well, also I want to be an über-energy-geek.

More to come. Soon, I hope!


  1. This is very cool, but what about those of us rolling our own power monitoring solutions? :-)

    Comment by blalor — October 6, 2009 @ 6:57 am

  2. @blalor — I have always said, good things come to those who procrastinate properly :-) I have said several times that I would have something running “real soon” for the last few months as I have been thinking about, installing, and using my TED 5000. Now with Google Power Meter, my indolence, poor planning, lack of initiative, and all the rest seem to be paying off.

    Not that I have figured out yet how to actually get it hooked up to Power Meter or anything… (but, real soon now).


    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 6, 2009 @ 8:00 am

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  4. I just spoke to a rep from Energy, Inc. and he said that the software for Google Power Meter was pushed back until Friday.

    Also, new sofware is coming which will allow you to use another set of CT’s and transmitter to monitor a branch circuit without adding the usage in with your data from the primary. This will be good for monitoring a particular appliance without resorting to the profiling that is currently available.

    Comment by Pete — October 6, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  5. Putting TED 5000 data on PowerMeter is great but the TED 5000’s 1 or 2 CTs isn’t going to cut it for me. I want a dozen, one for each of my branch circuits. I’m waiting for a more capable energy monitor like the ECM-1240 to strike a deal with Google as well.

    Comment by David Fay — October 6, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  6. @Pete — thanks; they’re also reporting the delay in PowerMeter firmware for Google on their site (I updated the post with a link)

    @David Fay — aren’t you the guy who reported a 78 Watt base load on a previous post? :-) But I agree that what we’re seeing is only a tiny little step in the right direction. Additional steps could include: circuit breakers that transmit data (who needs CT clamps all over the place), receptacle devices similar to Kill-a-Watt that transmit data, and what the heck, devices themselves that transmit their data. I know GE had (or talks about) some appliances that were supposed to transmit Zigbee data to a Smart Meter.

    More important, perhaps, is that the smart meter itself isn’t really designed to look inside the house — it’s mainly a way for the power company to manage demand. So maybe there are two sides of the equation.

    Anyway, baby steps!

    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 6, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

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  8. My TED 5000 is up and running… Its a great upgrade from my Cent0Meter that i’ve been using for the past 5 years… The TED software works pretty got and give you the basic information. I’ve also upgraded to the powermeter version which is ok… The TED profiles is not working for me however. Basically you turn on/off a device and TED will detect the power change for that device and keep track of it… however looks like a software problem… Profiles in theory would be a great way to break out every energy using device and report on each one.. That way you would know exactly how much each device really cost you….


    Comment by dan Pancamo — October 10, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

  9. Dan —

    I have tried to use the TED 5000 load profiles feature, and agree — its implementation is kind of weak. I tried a couple of times to set it up to detect my dryer (which should be completely simple) but I can’t make it work. I didn’t try that hard, but then again, I probably shouldn’t have to.


    Comment by Tom Harrison — October 16, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

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